System monitoring tools for Windows XP
We know how administrators love free tools that make their life easier and, to supplement the list provided on here are 20 of the best free tools for monitoring devices, services, ports or protocols and analysing traffic on your network. Even if you may have heard of some of these tools before, we’re sure you’ll find a gem or two amongst this list – and if you know of any others, leave us a comment below!
Microsoft Network Monitor is a packet analyser that allows you to capture, view and analyse network traffic. This tool is handy for troubleshooting network problems and applications on the network. Main features include support for over 300 public and Microsoft proprietary protocols, simultaneous capture sessions, a Wireless Monitor Mode and sniffing of promiscuous mode traffic, amongst others.
When you launch Microsoft Network Monitor, choose which adapter to bind to from the main window and then click “New Capture” to initiate a new capture tab. Within the Capture tab, click “Capture Settings” to change filter options, adapter options, or global settings accordingly and then hit “Start” to initiate the packet capture process.
Nagios is a powerful network monitoring tool that helps you to ensure that your critical systems, applications and services are always up and running. It provides features such as alerting, event handling and reporting. The Nagios Core is the heart of the application that contains the core monitoring engine and a basic web UI. On top of the Nagios Core, you are able to implement plugins that will allow you to monitor services, applications, and metrics, a chosen frontend as well as add-ons for data visualisation, graphs, load distribution, and MySQL database support, amongst others.
Tip: If you want to try out Nagios without needing to install and configure it from scratch, download Nagios XI from and enable the free version. Nagios XI is the pre-configured enterprise class version built upon Nagios Core and is backed by a commercial company that offers support and additional features such as more plugins and advanced reporting.
Note: The free version of Nagios XI is ideal for smaller environments and will monitor up to seven nodes.
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During the last few days of each year and the first few days of the new, when the normal press of events usually slows down a bit, those of us who use our PCs every day have a wonderful opportunity: We can use the slack time to perform a little simple PC maintenance in order to avoid some preventable PC headaches later on.
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